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Thu, 08 Dec 2022
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Attention

Calcium pills 'raise heart risk'

Calcium supplements may increase the risk of a heart attack in older women, New Zealand research suggests.

Syringe

Green light for hybrid research

Regulators have given scientists the green light to create human-animal embryos for research.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority granted permission after a consultation showed the public were "at ease" with the idea.

Pills

Popular Osteoporosis Drugs Triple Risk of Bone Necrosis

A University of British Columbia and Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute study has found that a popular class of osteoporosis drugs nearly triples the risk of developing bone necrosis, a condition that can lead to disfigurement and incapacitating pain.

The research is the largest study of bone necrosis and bisphosphonates, a class of drugs used by millions of women worldwide to help prevent bone fractures due to osteoporosis. It is also the first study to explore the link between bone necrosis and specific brands of bisphosphonates, such as Actonel, Didrocal and Fosamax. Researchers found that all three brands had similar outcomes.

Info

Mothers' stress may increase children's asthma

Children whose mothers are chronically stressed during their early years have a higher asthma rate than their peers, regardless of their income, gender or other known asthma risk factors.

"It is increasingly clear that traditional environmental risk factors do not fully explain the origins of asthma," said lead investigator, Anita Kozyrskyj, Ph.D., Associate Professor in the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Manitoba, Canada. "Evidence is emerging that exposure to maternal distress in early life plays a causal role in the development of childhood asthma. In a cohort of children born in 1995, we found that maternal distress which persists beyond the postpartum period is associated with an increased risk of asthma at school-age."

Bulb

Nature and Nurture are both to blame for depression, study says

Depression is one of the most common forms of psychopathology. According to diathesis "stress theories of depression, genetic liability interacts with negative life experiences to cause depression. Traditionally, most studies testing these theories have focused on only one component of the diathesis "stress model: either genetics or environment, but not their interaction.

However, because of recent advances in genetics and genomics, researchers have begun using a new design that allows them to test the interaction of genetic and environmental liabilities -- the G x E design.

Health

Monkey malaria widespread in humans and potentially fatal

A potentially fatal species of malaria is being commonly misdiagnosed as a more benign form of the disease, thereby putting lives at risk, according to research funded by the Wellcome Trust and the University Malaysia Sarawak.

Researchers in Malaysia studied more than 1,000 samples from malaria patients across the country. Using DNA-based technology they found that more than one in four patients in Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo, were infected with Plasmodium knowlesi, a malaria parasite of macaque monkeys, and that the disease was more widespread in Malaysia than previously thought. Infections were most often misdiagnosed as the normally uncomplicated human malaria caused by P. malariae.

Malaria, which kills more than one million people each year, is caused when Plasmodium parasites are passed into the bloodstream from the salivary glands of mosquitoes. Some types, such as P. falciparum, found most commonly in Africa, are more deadly than others. P. malariae, found in tropical and sub-tropical regions across the globe, is often known as "benign malaria" as its symptoms are usually less serious than other types of malaria.

Sherlock

A Breach of Trust in America's Most Toxic Town: How the EPA is Rubbing Poison Into Libby's Wounds

The voice on the phone spoke with the confidence of authority: he had called to say that the people of Libby, Montana, were being screwed over once again. The culprit, however, was not the W.R. Grace & Co., whose asbestos-contaminated vermiculite mine had been the source of death and disease for these folks for most of the 20th century. This time, the anonymous caller asserted, the Environmental Protection Agency was to blame.

Sheeple

Against the Trend, U.S. Births Way Up

Atlanta, Georgia - Bucking the trend in many other wealthy industrialized nations, the United States seems to be experiencing a baby boomlet, reporting the largest number of children born in 45 years.

The nearly 4.3 million births in 2006 were mostly due to a bigger population, especially a growing number of Hispanics. That group accounted for nearly one-quarter of all U.S. births. But non-Hispanic white women and other racial and ethnic groups were having more babies, too.

Health

MIT: Why men are more prone to liver cancer

A fundamental difference in the way males and females respond to chronic liver disease at the genetic level helps explain why men are more prone to liver cancer, according to MIT researchers.

"This is the first genome-wide study that helps explain why there is such a gender effect in a cancer of a nonreproductive organ, where you wouldn't expect to see one," said Arlin Rogers, an MIT experimental pathologist and lead author of a paper that appeared last month in the journal Cancer Research.

Men develop liver cancer at twice the rate of women in the United States. In other countries, especially in Asia, the rate for men can be eight or 10 times that for women.

Attention

Cancer and psychiatric drugs found in tap water

Britain's tap water should be monitored for powerful medicines after traces of cancer and psychiatric drugs were detected in samples, a report has warned.

The 100-page statement, commissioned by the drinking water watchdog, the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI), reveals that pharmaceuticals are finding their way into the water supply despite extensive purification treatments used by water companies.

Trace levels of bleomycin, a cancer chemotherapy drug, and diazepam, a sedative, have been found during tests on drinking water, the report reveals.